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Lymphoedema Treatment


Oedema Clinics began with a vision to create the best individualised programs for Lymphoedema Treatment based on evidence and innovation in an environment that is empowering and nurturing.


The recommended treatment for lymphoedema is Complex Lymphoedema Therapy (CLT).

CLT is sometimes also known as DLT - Degongestive Lymphatic Therapy, Complex Physical Therapy (CPT) or Complex Decongestive therapy (CDT).


Treatment for lymphoedema, although not a cure, helps control the symptoms of swelling, skin changes and functional impairment. Lymphoedema treatment is ongoing in order to maintain the gains in the affected area in the best possible way. Although it takes time and effort, lymphoedema treatment can be used to effectively control your lymphoedema and maintain a good quality of life.


Complex Lymphoedema Therapy (CLT)

There are four components to CLT:

  • Specialised massage techniques – known as Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) – to stimulate the flow of fluid in the lymphatic system and reduce swelling. The massage techniques are designed to direct lymph fluid to functioning lymphatic territories and helps to establish collateral drainage pathways. Oedema Clinics take pride in offering lymphoedema treatment with the inclusion of the the PhysioTouch in our MLD technique toolbox.
  • Compression bandages and garments – to move fluid out of the affected limb, minimise further build-up and maintain the volume of the affected limb.
  • Skin care – to keep the skin in good condition and reduce the chances of infection.
  • Exercises – to use muscles in the affected limb to improve lymph drainage.
  • Education - vital to empower the individual to manage and maintain at home. Empowering and active involvement lead to improved outcomes.

Phases of Lymphoedema Treatment

Phase I - Intensive Lymphoedema Treatment

All the components of CLT are employed - Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD, including PhysioTouch therapy) to enhance lymph flow, preceding application of multi-layer compression bandaging or the prescription of an adjustable decongestive garment. Skin care to optimise the condition of the skin, reverse skin changes and treat infections .Exercises to increase lymphatic and venous flow.
Psychosocial support and education is incorporated throughout intensive lymphoedema treatement to ensure that you understands your condition and all parts of the treatment.
A compression garment is prescribed following successful reduction, returning the limb to as normal a shape and size as possible. This is essential to preserve the reduction achieved by lymphoedema treatment and to help prevent progression of the lymphoedema.

At this stage your Oedema Clinic physiotherapist will ensure that you are empowered and well on your way to succeed the next phase.


Phase II - Maintenance Lymphoedema Treatment & Self-Management

Knowledge and self-management become empowering tools to maintain the results achieved in Phase I. You still may need to see your Oedema Clinc physiotherapist on a regular basis for ongoing therapy and education to support your active involvement ensuring the successful outcomes of treatment are sustained.


The routine adopted will vary from person to person and generally includes daily skin care and prevention of infection, regular self massage, exercises and the wearing of the prescribed compression garment/s. You will be encouraged to practice self monitoring and adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes attention to diet, fitness and weight management.

Ongong lymphoedema treatment is offered in a modified form to accommodate individual requirements.


PhysioTouch for Lymphoedema Treatment

The PhysioTouch is a device that uses negative pressure (suction), pulsation and mechanical vibration; three extremely beneficial techniques to enhance the body's lymphatic system to remove fluid from the lymphoedematous limb, or area, and breakdown fibrosis. Oedema Clinics physiotherapists use PhysioTouch in conjunction with other manual techniques as part of MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) often with remarkable results. Fibrosis softening and volume reduction differ in every person, as with other forms of lymphoedema treatment: results are individual.


The settings and application techniques can be customised to treat all individuals offering a gentle effective lymphoedema treatment that often cannot be achieved by using hands alone.